How to get it? With nutrition that thinks ahead.
We all grow old, including our four-legged friends. And even though you can't stop the aging process, you can still help him live an active, healthy life well into his golden years.
One of the most important things you can do is to feed him a diet that's right for his age, IAMS® Active Maturity®, the result of nutritional breakthroughs developed by the geriatric research team at The Iams Company. This complete and balanced diet can help your mature dog maintain an ideal body weight, maximize his ability to stay healthy and maintain muscle tone and digestive health.
Physiological condition, rather than chronological age, determines whether a dog is mature. Aging begins when the body's systems start to slow down,when cells deteriorate faster than the body can repair them. Though large breeds tend to age faster than smaller breeds, the mature years generally begin at around seven years (five years for large breeds). If you feed your dog a diet designed to address the nutritional needs of his age, you can best maintain his overall health and well-being.
As your dog ages, it is important to detect and address with his veterinarian the telltale signs of aging or disease: a dull, dry coat and flaky skin, joint stiffness, energy loss, weight gain, increased water intake, digestive problems and frequent constipation. These signs, among others, may be caused either by normal wear-and-tear or perhaps by the onset of disease. In any case, detecting and addressing them early may give your dog a greater chance to stay active and healthy.
When and how your dog responds to the aging process has a lot to do with genetics and environment, but nutrition plays an equally important role. The quality of food and its ability to maintain and nourish your dog's cells can help promote a long, healthy life.
As your dog ages and his systems become less efficient, he relies increasingly on the food you provide to make up for his body's shortfalls. According to Michael Hayek, Ph.D., an IAMS research nutritionist who specializes in geriatric nutrition, "Aging dogs need the same nutrients as younger dogs; however, the quantity or the way the nutrients are provided may change."Return to Top
If you see signs of aging in your dog, don't wait to feed him the proper diet. Feeding a high-quality, premium food throughout your dog's life is the best way to help him age gracefully. When your dog reaches his mature years, choose IAMS Active Maturity for nutrition suited to this stage of life. "Good nutrition starts early," says Dr. Hayek. "It should be viewed as proactive health care because it may be a deterrent to aging later on."
If your dog already exhibits signs of aging, look for a high-quality, balanced maintenance food that caters to his changing metabolism. When you're shopping for a formula that's right for your dog, look for and compare these important points:
As your dog reaches his mature years, remember these tips:
Finally, Dr. Hayek points out, there's still much to learn about canine geriatric nutrition. For now, realize that every animal ages at a different rate and in different ways. Monitor your dog and especially watch for changes at around seven years of age (five years for large breeds). If necessary, adjust his diet accordingly. With the help of your veterinarian and responsible pet food manufacturers, your mature pal can live to a comfortable, healthy old age.
Read more about Senior Dog Care.Return to Top